The New Johari Window #2: Models of Interpersonal Awareness

The New Johari Window #2: Models of Interpersonal Awareness

A Dynamic Model

The Johari Window has always been a highly dynamic model—though it has often been portrayed and used as a static model by those with only a superficial understanding of Luft’s analysis. As a static model, the Johari Window defines the relatively openness of individual people in their interpersonal relationships, irrespective of the specific relationship being taken into account. The Window was always meant to be highly contextual. The processes of disclosure and feedback that determine degree of openness are highly dependent on the nature of the relationship being established and the interplaying and reciprocating behavior that commences in this relationship. Even within a specific relationship, processes of disclosure and feedback will vary from moment to moment, depending on the setting and the specific issues being addressed.

The New Johari Window is even more dynamic and contextual, for it offers even more finely differentiated panes in Quadrant 2 and 3. Each of these panes can, in turn, portray subtly nuanced interplay amongst actors in an interpersonal drama. The key element in this subtle interplay, however, remains the same and consistent—this key element is trust. I begin, therefore, with a visit to the domain of trust and suggest that even this seemingly straight-forward dimension of interpersonal relationships is, in fact, rather complex.

Three Forms of Trust

Some linguists (notably Benjamin Whorf) believe that you can tell quite a bit about a culture by noting areas in which there is very elaborate and detailed labeling and areas in which labeling is sparse.  The many names for snow among the Innuit (Eskimos) and the many words for love among the Greeks are often offered as evidence of this so-called Whorfian hypothesis. Innuit seem to be very interested in snow, hence have many different names to describe different kinds of snow (much as avid snow skiers have multiple labels, such as “corn snow” and “powder snow”). The Greeks similarly seem to be very interested in love and its many different forms (ranging from “eros” to “agape”)

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About the Author

William Bergquist

William BergquistWilliam Bergquist, Ph.D. An international coach and consultant, professor in the fields of psychology, management and public administration, author of more than 45 books, and president of a graduate school of psychology. Dr. Bergquist consults on and writes about personal, group, organizational and societal transitions and transformations. His published work ranges from the personal transitions of men and women in their 50s and the struggles of men and women in recovering from strokes to the experiences of freedom among the men and women of Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent years, Bergquist has focused on the processes of organizational coaching. He is coauthor with Agnes Mura of coachbook, co-founder of the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations and co-founder of the International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations. His graduate school (The Professional School of Psychology: www.psychology.edu) offers Master and Doctoral degrees in both clinical and organizational psychology to mature, accomplished adults.

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